How to Become a Creative Team Leader
At some point, the best employees become leaders. There are several reasons for this: loss of interest, the need for transfer of experience, or dissatisfaction with the current leadership. The work of a manager is different from that of an employee, so newly-minted managers make typical mistakes. The author of The Taming of the Tigers writes how to avoid them.
Tasks of the leader
The main mistake of the newly minted leaders is to do the work for the subordinates, instead of managing them. This prevents employees from taking initiative in solving new problems, without which growth is impossible. Of course, a leader has more professional skills, so he will do better with the job – this is good in the short term, but if you look long, this strategy is flawed. If people do not grow up solving complex problems, work ceases to inspire them, they lose motivation and think about looking for a new job.
But, even if you do not do the work for your employees, problems can arise in the team. This happens if you just give tasks without explaining why they need to be done (I recently wrote about this in the Telegram channel). Here’s what the author writes:
“If employees repeatedly achieve the set results, but they do not have professional growth, then you teach them how to work, but do not say why this or that method is effective. Sooner or later people get bored with it, and they leave. “
The way out of this situation is as follows: a balance of restrictions and freedom. This balance can be achieved by shaping the principles of work and giving the team complete freedom within the framework of these principles.
Henry Todd offers four questions to help shape his principles:
- What kind of employee behavior do you welcome, regardless of the consequences?
- How should employees behave while working on a project?
- How do you prioritize?
- How do you tell a good job from a bad job?
Some creative people believe that they need complete freedom and any restrictions negatively affect the result. At this moment, I remember a chapter from Art. Lebedev’s Managing:
“More than anything, a designer needs constraints.
To make sure that this statement is correct, let’s set up an experiment. We will call the designer and offer him as much money as he wants.
– Do you agree to work on the design for us for a lot of money?
– Yes, it’s an honor for me.
– We have a condition: we do not want to limit you in any way.
– This is amazing, I also dreamed of such a customer. All my life I was tormented by restrictions and now …
“Let me interrupt you.
– Yes, yes, of course, I’m listening.
– Give us the best design ever.
– Design of what?
– Our condition is the absence of restrictions.
– Ahh … uh … mmm …
The designer’s brain explodes.
<…> There is no creativity without limits. The very best designs come from the toughest demands. ”
This point of view is fully supported by the author.
An atmosphere of trust
When people trust their leader, it is easier for them to focus on their work. But it’s hard to be objective if your relationship is not limited to the office. This is the difficulty – if employees doubt your objectivity, then trust will suffer, and everything is tied to trust: the leader sets the course, and the team gives time, energy and emotions. If there is no trust in the leader, then it is difficult for the team to find the motivation to give all the best.
Trust is a fickle quantity and must be maintained. Moreover, trust is easy to lose – one unsuccessful deed is enough. It is somewhat reminiscent of a reputation. To avoid loss of trust, the author recommends treating each decision and interaction with subordinates as an opportunity to influence it.
Henry Todd advises the new leader to distance himself a little from subordinates and gives some tips on how to be objective:
- Don’t seek approval for your decisions
- Don’t soften your position to please
- Don’t gossip about other employees
- Share thoughts with subordinates, but do not refer to them as a therapist
The author believes that a successful creative team is built on two things: challenges and stability. Challenges motivate people to take on more challenging tasks and grow. Stability is based on trust and makes it possible to focus on work, not on intra-corporate intrigue.
Many people think that creative people are either narcissistic or notorious. Agree, there is some truth in this statement. But the author looked at it from a different angle. He believes that such behavior is a routine reaction to undesirable processes in the company and an indicator that subordinates are not satisfied with everything in the work environment.
“Perhaps some creative people seem difficult to communicate, as their skill has been repeatedly questioned by a person who looked at the result for less than ten seconds before sending the finished solution to the landfill.”
That is why, competent leadership helps to unleash the potential of creative employees who will not only take care of the company, but also begin to enjoy their work, which will not only bring decent results, but also improve the mood within the team.